RFU 'partly funded' Tindall's infamous night
The RFU supplied a free bar for the England rugby team on the night that led to Mike Tindall's massive £25,000 fine for misconduct, according to reports.
Tindall was one of several players who attended a bar featuring dwarves in Queenstown, New Zealand.
The England captain, who is married to the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips, was pictured on CCTV receiving a kiss on the head from an ex-girlfriend.
Though England stood by him at the time, he was last Friday thrown out of England's elite player squad and given the record-breaking fine.
However, a report in the Daily Mail claims that earlier in the night, the RFU paid for drinks at a bar elsewhere in Queenstown.
The Daily Mail quotes an email from team operations manager Tom Stokes saying he had reserved "an area (of a) bar/pub in town called Pub on the Wharf from 19.30", adding: "Yes, there is a tab."
Several players moved on to the Altitude Bar, where they were pictured at a 'Mad Midget Weekender' event.
Bar manager Rich Deane defended the players, saying: "They were great lads, not throwing the midgets, it was all light hearted good humoured fun.''
The severe punishment of Tindall, decided after an investigation led by professional rugby director Rob Andrew, shocked many, and if it is proven the RFU helped fund the night in question it could strengthen Tindall's case as he appeals the sanction.
The centre is awaiting a hearing date for his appeal against the unprecedented fine.
England suffered a scandal-hit World Cup, in which they were knocked out in the quarter-finals.
Two players were sanctioned for making inappropriate remarks to a female hotel worker, coaches were found guilty of switching balls during matches and Manu Tuilagi was held by police for jumping off a ferry after England's elimination.